Judging by recent conversations with some of the commercial real estate community’s finest, the Pikes Peak region is suffering a few setbacks, but most brokers are busy. Foreclosures are up (29 recorded in the Daily Transcript this week), but savvy investors are poised for bargains – and new employers are still making announcements. Here’s hoping that the fed’s recent cut in rates will achieve its desired affect…

Transaction Report

Doug Carter, LLC: $1.5 Million Apartment Sale

Doug Carter ended the month of October on a high note with the sale of the Mason Manor Apartments, located at 1129 Bennett Avenue. The 37-unit complex, built in 1968, was purchased by a local partnership. The property features an indoor swimming pool, Carter said, making it very appealing. “This property was owned by the same family trust for more than twenty years.” The sellers are investors from California, according to Carter, who is best known for his quarterly reports on the Pikes Peak region’s multi-family market.

Carter says that he has two more deals pending – with closings estimated to occur by year-end. “There are very few big deals,” he said, “but quite a few small deals. I think that 2002 will be my best year so far.” The broker says that he plans to work on relationship-building with clients in 2003. “I haven’t always had the time in the past to keep in touch,” he added. The vacancy market has gotten a lot of press, but there are still lots of deals out there.

Hermann Spielkamp Represents Visionary

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In one of Colorado Springs’ most recent land sales, Hermann Spielkamp of Grubb & Ellis/Quantum Commercial represented the buyer, the Jarosz Family Limited Partnership, on the purchase of 2.18 acres of PBC-zoned property just west of I-25, on Corporate Center Drive. The buyer also owns two acres adjacent, slated for a future hotel. The newly-purchased site is slated to accommodate a restaurant. Interesting sidenote: Spielkamp says that timing for the construction of a new hotel and restaurant depends largely on the sale of other property currently held by the Jarosz family. “The 25-acre property we have listed on North Nevada would be ideal for redevelopment as an infill project,” said the broker. “My client also owns the Palmer House (listed at $5.9 million), which has just been updated throughout,” he adds. Spielkamp believes that the eight-acre property, located on the northwest corner of Fillmore and Chestnut, will benefit from CDOT’s re-configuration of Exit 144. “You don’t see a site of this size just two exits from downtown come up very often,” he says, “and our visibility will be terrific.”

The only catch: After last year’s slow tourism season, hotels are cautious in committing to new projects. Spielkamp feels, however, that the local market still shows signs of gradual improvement. “We have new jobs coming to town with Homeland Defense and with the Progressive Insurance announcement. Nationally, unemployment is up and so are foreclosures – but the percentages are still fairly low. We are busy at Grubb & Ellis/Quantum – it’s just a challenge to get investors to move forward right now.”

Bacon Industrial Lease on Fillmore Heights

Palmer McAllister’s David Bacon recently finalized a 3,200-square-foot lease in the Alpha Business Forms building at 3414 Fillmore Ridge Heights for Rodney and Pat Podszus, owners. The new tenant, Discovery Distribution, Inc., distributes electronic components for the high- tech industry. The tenant was represented by Wasson Properties.

Trammel Crow Captures 11,550 Lease

Lease signings reported by Trammel Crow’s Colorado Springs team include the following: John Egan represented the landlord, on the lease of 6,695 square feet in the US 24/Bypass Plaza to new tenant, IBR Plasma Centers, LLC.; Mike Matkin and Craig Anderson finalized a 2,606-square-foot lease with industrial tenant, Preferred Homecare in Garden of the Gods Business Park; Matkin teamed with Randy Miller to represent the owner, Greenbriar Properties Associates LP, on the lease of 11,550 square feet of office space to CTA, Inc. in the Woodmen Corporate Center; and Mike Matkin represented the owner on the lease of 1,000 square feet to Window King in Mount View Park.

Olive Real Estate Group Adds Retail Leases

Scott Gray, broker from Olive’s Retail Group, just reported the sale of the 6,000-square-foot Ruskin Shopping Center at Airport and South Academy Blvd. for $520,000. Saul Garcia, owner of the center’s busy carneceria, was the purchaser – at a 10 percent capitalization rate on existing income. The sellers, he adds, are looking for a 1031 exchange property – and prefer a mini-storage facility or shopping center property.

John Winsor, founder of Olive’s retail division, just represented the landlord on a lease renewal with Pikes Peak Satcom at Tri Peak Plaza at the southeast corner of South Academy Blvd. and Pikes Peak Ave.

Gray Locates New Retailer

It’s a bit early to disclose the details, but Scott Gray is representing a new discount retailer in the Pikes Peak region – and estimates the company will open up to five new locations by spring 2003. “We’ve got four contracts in the works,” he said, “and we may even look at former Rite Aid locations. The outlets will range in size from 6,000 to 25,000 square feet, depending on location.”

Calendar Notes

The Apartment Association of Colorado Springs’ November membership meeting will feature a local economic forecast update. Doug Carter of Doug Carter, LLC and Fred Crowley of the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs, will be presenting the Apartment Industry Forecast, sharing information on where the market was a year ago, what changes have occurred, and the forces behind those changes. The two experts will take an in-depth look at issues of the day, vacancy and jobs, supply and demand and much more.

Carter and Crowley will also look at the year 2004 and project market trends and factors that will affect multi-family and commercial rental rates, occupancy levels, sales of properties and management techniques. Call Racquel Dukeman at 264-9195 for more information.